Sunday, July 13, 2008

Turtle Heads

I should be working up a lesson plan for the last week of my reading class, but before I do, I thought you'd like a glimpse of yesterday's drive up the east of Oahu to the north shore and Turtle Bay. Since it's a sort of tourist resort area I didn't really expect to see any (turtles, that is) but as soon as we walked on the beach and headed toward the water guess what we saw right there about three feet from land, swimming around a guy with a boogie board, popping his head up to take a look...? The cutest turtle!

If turtles could be said to frolic, this one was. Or perhaps his curiosity had gotten the better of him. They have a sense of security, I believe, since it is a Huge Infraction to get too near one. You can be fined up to $25,000 for touching a sea turtle in Hawaii. He came within one foot of the swimmer, just investigating around, then scooted off into deeper water. The above is not our photo, but it's exactly what these turtles looked like, just randomly poking their heads above water to get a breath.

We wandered over the sand to a very rocky area (where more friendly turtles occasionally popped up for air) where little pools left behind by the tide contained hermit crabs and snails and, to my joy, dried sea salt. It was very hot, and where the sun had evaporated the water, a layer of white salt was left over the sand particles. I tested some. Just like what you'd buy in the store--same chunky size, same taste. Deanna snapped a few photos of me walking along the shore, watching things (boogie boarders, often). Wish you'd been with us to walk as well. This particular spot has a very strong current, and a few months ago a snorkeler was swept out to sea and
drowned. But a few feet to the right was safe, and we did do some swimming about. I have discovered why turtles have such hard shells, though. The rocks they swim by are some of the hardest, pokingest, cuttingest rocks ever (to use the sort of quirky English Annie might :).

Arden and I also did some reading on the towels while Deanna and Dora snorkeled. After about an hour of it a week ago I've decided I'm not such an ardent fan. Maybe it was the humongous multicolored fish I almost ran into. Arms were flailing dangerously near it as I tried in vain to go into reverse. (Is that possible in fins?) I didn't succeed, but he got out of my way and disappeared into the silt. Seriously humongous--plus being sky blue and pink and yellow. I just didn't want to know what his scales felt like! Do you blame me?

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